Here's What Getting Killed by Molten Lava Would Look Like

A GoPro camera got caught in a molten lava flow and burst into flames—but the video card inside lived to tell the tale. The video was taken by Erik Storm about 16 months ago, according to PetaPixel's original report. Storm owns a tour company in Hawaii that gives "lava hikes" near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. He intended to capture the lava flow—just maybe not that close up. Things really heat up around the 45-second mark in the video.

The camera actually survived and still works, which is astonishing. Most lava is very hot—about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. At those temperatures, a human would probably burst into flames and either get extremely serious burns or die.

One person has survived falling into much cooler lava in Tanzania in 2007, according to field reports from the Smithsonian. That lava was less than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, though, and the person who survived was still recovering and in pain more than five months later. 

Unlike a lake, people won't immediately sink into lava. (Wired did the math on that.) It's more dense than you think. Stepping on it will make an indentation—right before the flames start and thing starts really bubbling up. A German researcher confirmed that by chucking what was basically a 66-pound bag of leftovers into a volcano in 2002, the Huffington Post reported

Volcanoes National park Lava pours into the ocean from Kilauea Volcano on June 6, 2004 at Volcanoes National Park near Volcano, Hawaii. Lava from Kilauea has reached the ocean for the first time in nearly a year. Marco Garcia/Getty Images

But please, don't step on the lava in Hawaii. It's not just for safety reasons. "Be safe and respectful of the Hawaiian culture, and help to protect our island’s natural and cultural resources," the Hawaii Tourism Authority asks on its website about the national park. "Many believe that lava is the kinolau, or physical embodiment, of volcano goddess Pele. Therefore, poking lava with sticks or throwing/placing things in or above the lava flow to watch them burn is considered not only culturally disrespectful, but it is also against federal law."

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